The idea of studying when you’re a full-time mum can sometimes feel a bit like a joke. When on earth would you have the time? Between preparing meals, doing laundry, making sure the kids are cleaning their teeth, sewing costumes for birthday parties and doing the school run, you don’t have a lot of time left in your day. And when you do, you usually want to sit down with a glass of wine and a good book (or maybe The Bachelor).
But it IS possible, with a little help from family and friends, and flexible study options. You may be thinking about returning to the workforce, and need to brush up on your skills, or perhaps you’re thinking about your career and gaining new qualifications. Either way, we’ve put together a few helpful tips that will assist you in juggling #mumlife and study.
Choose a course with flexible study options.
Online study is so predominant these days because it just makes sense, especially for full-time mums! Choose a course that will allow you to study online at your own pace, at a time that suits you. If you have kids in prep or primary school, studying while they’re in class is the best way to focus and get work done.
Furthermore, if you’re considering a course where you need to undertake a work placement, such as a Certificate in Education Support, you can do this during the day while the kids are at school. This means that you don’t have to pay extra for after school care (which can be very expensive, as we all know), and there’s no need to find someone to mind the children while your busy working on your placement hours.
Choose a course that will acknowledge your previous experience
There are also courses that will allow you to apply for recognised prior learning within your study if you have previously worked in the field, or studied in the same area. This is perfect for mums who are looking to brush up on their skills or obtain the formal qualification needed to land a new job. For example, if you have worked as a personal carer for the elderly, or in a nursing home, and are looking to complete your Certificate IV in Aged Care , some of your experience may allow you to apply for recognised prior learning. With this qualification, you can get back into the field quicker, and often find better-paying jobs with a great working environment.
Don’t leave assignments until the last minute.
Procrastination is a tale as old as time when it comes to students and study. But while young uni students have the luxury of being able to stay up until all hours of the morning to finish an assignment, mums don’t. Not to mention that when mums are up in the middle of the night, it’s usually to fight off club-wielding monsters from under the bed. Put plainly, mums have stuff to do, and tiredness hampers productivity, so it’s best to get those assignments in with time to spare!
Have a close look at the family planner at the start of every week, and slot in the most sensible and realistic times for you to study, so that you meet deadlines. Going back to school can be stressful enough without leaving tasks to the last minute as well. Now we know that emergencies arise, and your timetable doesn’t always go to plan, and that’s okay. But ensuring that you have a plan is the crucial thing, for those weeks when (can it possibly be true?) everything goes smoothly.
If studying and completing work placement hours during the week seems like the most viable option for your lifestyle, then consider ways that you can maximise time on weekdays. Here are a few helpful tips for getting the most out of your week:
- Prepare meals on the weekends for easy dinners for the whole family Monday to Friday.
- If the kids are old enough, consider having a cleaning roster for the household so that everyone helps out with simple things like unpacking the dishwasher, hanging out the laundry or walking the dog. These small tasks take up a lot of time when you’re the only one doing them, but as they say, many hands make light work!
- Ask your parents or siblings if they would like to do one extracurricular activity with your child per week. This might involve Grandpa taking your son to guitar lessons, or your sister going to soccer practice with your daughter. It’s only one hour per week and gives you that extra time that you need to squeeze in more study!
Don’t be afraid to ask for a little support from family and friends; remember that you don’t have to manage it all by yourself.
Are you interested in getting back to the workforce while your kids are at school? Career Keys offer flexible, affordable courses in education support and aged care that can be completed online or face-to-face. These courses will give you the qualifications that you need to obtain a job, and build a stable career for yourself and your family. Study without sacrificing family time by contacting Career Keys today!